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Live Reporting

Edited by Mal Siret and Martha Buckley

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thanks for joining us

    We're closing this coronavirus live page now until Friday. Thanks for joining us.

    Today's updates have been written by Penny Spiller, Ashitha Nagesh, Alex Therrien and Lauren Turner. The editors have been Mal Siret and Martha Buckley.

  2. What's been happening in the UK today?

    A woman with a face mask walking in Liverpool

    There have been quite a few developments in the UK today. So here's a round-up to bring you up to speed as we prepare to close our live coverage shortly.

    • A ban on different households meeting is to be extended across parts north-west England. It will be illegal to meet others indoors in the Liverpool City Region, Halton, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, from Saturday
    • In Northern Ireland, new restrictions are also coming in for pubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels in the Derry and Strabane council area. They will only be able to open for takeaway, delivery and outdoor dining from next week
    • There are some new travel quarantine rules. Travellers arriving in the UK from Poland, Turkey and the islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba will have to quarantine from Saturday
    • It has also been announced that the maximum fine for failing to self-isolate in England, when told to, is increasing from £3,200 to £10,000, for repeated breaches
    • An SNP MP has been suspended by her party after travelling to Westminster despite experiencing Covid symptoms - then going home by train after getting a positive test result. Margaret Ferrier, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said she regretted her actions and had informed police
    • Ministers are using powers under the Coronavirus Act to require schools to offer pupils who are not in school the same lessons as those in class
  3. The latest from around the world

    Paris coronavirus testing

    It's evening here in the UK, where our team of reporters has been bringing you the latest coronavirus news.

    A lot has happened today. To summarise, here are the main global headlines.

    • US airlines have started laying off thousands of workers because of the pandemic. American Airlines is letting 19,000 people go, while United is making 13,000 redundant
    • France's health minister says Paris could be placed on maximum virus alert as soon as Monday, potentially forcing all bars to close and other new restrictions
    • Students, parents and teachers marched in Athens, Greece, to demand more stringent safety measures in schools
    • Dutch PM Mark Rutte has made a U-turn on mask-wearing. Despite previously being one of the world's most mask-sceptic leaders, he has now urged people to wear masks indoors
    • Employers in Moscow have been ordered to make at least a third of their staff work from home, after Russia recorded the largest single-day increase in Covid cases since 12 June
    • South Africa has reopened its borders to travellers for the first time since its initial lockdown in March
    • But in China, where Covid first emerged, hundreds of millions of people celebrated the National Day holiday with gatherings and getaways. With the virus suppressed in the country, it's now a far cry from the days of strict lockdown at the start of the year
  4. Paris on verge of new lockdown

    People on banks of the Seine

    Officials could place Paris under a new lockdown as early as Monday, French Health Minister Olivier Veran told reporters today.

    The capital and surrounding suburbs already appear to have breached the thresholds for being placed on maximum virus alert, he said, adding that if this was confirmed they would "have no choice" but to do so.

    "That would imply that people in Paris and suburbs would have to drastically limit their social interactions," he said. "No more family gatherings, no more evenings out, and a total closure of bars."

    So far in France, only Marseille and the Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe have been placed on maximum alert.

  5. SNP MP who travelled with Covid has whip suspended

    Margaret Ferrier

    We reported earlier that SNP MP Margaret Ferrier had travelled on the train to London and back with Covid symptoms, and later tested positive for the virus.

    Now, SNP Westminster group leader Ian Blackford tweets that he's suspended the whip.

    "I have spoken with @MargaretFerrier this evening who fully accepts that what she did was wrong," he writes. "Margaret will be referring herself to the parliamentary standards commissioner as well as the police. I am tonight suspending the whip from Margaret."

    Others have been reacting to the news, too.

    Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted: "Margaret, all the issues surrounding transmission of Covid-19, how infectious it is, how much pain and suffering it has caused to so many.

    "You are an elected Member of Parliament making laws to protect citizens from Covid, it wasn't one mistake but multiple ones. So disappointing."

    You can read our full story on this here.

  6. How to wear your mask properly

    Does it matter if you wear your face covering wrong? Well, yes.

    Wearing a face mask or covering incorrectly can make it easier for coronavirus to spread.

    If it's not kept clean, your mask will be contaminated and will not work as well. It may put you more at risk of catching Covid-19.

    In the video below, BBC journalist Laura Foster explains the correct way to wear your homemade mask or face covering.

    Video content

    Video caption: How not to wear a face mask
  7. Scotland's justice secretary: 'All foreign travel carries risk'

    Separately in Scotland, those arriving from the Azores and Madeira will no longer need to quarantine due to the low number of cases there.

    Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: "Although we are lifting quarantine restrictions on those travelling from the Azores or Madeira, in line with the public health data we have received, people should think long and hard before choosing to travel abroad, particularly during the forthcoming October break.

    "At present all foreign travel carries a risk. Quarantine requirements could be imposed on those arriving on holiday abroad, just as we may make the decision to impose the same in Scotland.

    “People should think very hard before committing to non-essential foreign travel."

  8. 'Why can I go to the pub with friends - but not see my parents?'

    Colm Buteux

    One Warrington dad has spoken about his frustration over the new tightening of restrictions.

    Contract commercial manager Colm Buteux said: "So as a family of four, we cannot see our parents, or our friends as a family group.

    "But I'm allowed on my own to go to the pub with five others from different households?

    "My children are facing another six months of not being able to see our closest friends even though that is the only family we mix with."

    "I do get why the government is doing this but they should let people have access to a support bubble," he told the BBC.

    "Everywhere I go I see people disobeying the rules - they need to be sorted out.Why should I suffer and they don’t?

    "The kids have been at home for four months. Now they can go to school and do sports. I’m pleased they can do that.

    "I don’t care if they close every pub, I want my children to go to school and do exercise. Trying to keep everything together is stressful.”

  9. BreakingSchools to be made to offer same lessons in class and online

    School in Birmingham

    Schools will be made to offer pupils at home the same lessons remotely as those they're teaching in person.

    The government, which is using powers under the Coronavirus Act, says it's formalising pupils' right to remote learning.

    Ministers also insist that schools will only close as a last resort. Instead, where areas are high, schools may switch to a rota system of two weeks on and two weeks off.

    But teachers' unions say it's a "grave error" to reach for legal powers when schools are already preparing for all eventualities, and that ministers should focus on "support not sanction".

    "By reaching for legal powers, the government risks sending an unequivocal message to the profession and parents that they do not trust school leaders to act in the interests of young people in this country," Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT head teachers' union, says.

  10. 'Our voice has been heard,' says Bolton bar owner

    Chris and Rebecca Brayshaw

    The owners of a bar in Bolton say they feel the hospitality sector has been blamed for a rise in coronavirus cases.

    Rebecca Brayshaw, who runs Little Bolton Town Hall bar and events space, said it had been shut for the past three weeks.

    But with Bolton now set to fall into line with the rest of Greater Manchester, the bar can reopen from Saturday. "Our plight, our voice has been heard," she says.

    She and husband Chris are now waiting to hear the finer details of whether customers will have to be from a single household, or if the rule of six will apply.

    The regulations have been "devastating in a lot of ways, financially and emotionally" she tells he BBC. "It's exhausting to wake up every day and wonder what, if any, part of your business will survive.

    "We want people to be safe. That's the key everyone is striving for. The issue potentially is if hospitality is being blamed, which it very much feels like it has been recently, that ongoing negative effect continues."

    That means people don't go out as much and are fearful, "through no fault of our own", despite the bar's Covid security measures, adds Mrs Brayshaw, adding: "We need people to come and visit us."

    Mr Brayshaw said today's news was a step in the right direction - but that it is part of a bigger battle.

  11. How to fly in the era of Covid

    Jumping on a plane and going on holiday looks and feels very different to how it did at the start of 2020.

    Airports and airlines have both been making changes to the way they work to get passengers flying again - including measures that help reduce the chances of the virus being spread.

    In this video, BBC journalist Laura Foster goes to Southend Airport to show you what you need to do if you're thinking of catching a flight.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: How to fly during a global pandemic
  12. Photos of China back on the move

    Hundreds of millions of people in China are celebrating the National Day holiday today, marking the founding of the People's Republic of China, with large gatherings and quick getaways.

    It's estimated that about 550 million people will travel within the country during the eight-day holiday known as "Golden Week". It's also thought that 13 million passenger trips were made today - the highest figure since February, according to state media.

    Although coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the country appears to have largely stopped the spread of the virus, and most restrictions have been lifted.

    Images of China today are worlds apart from a nation that was under lockdown earlier this year.

    You can see our full gallery here.

    China National Day celebrations
    China National Day - people celebrate at the Great Wall
    National Day China
  13. 'Further blow to travel sector'

    The Manchester Airports Group said Poland and Turkey's removal from the travel exemptions list "means that a large proportion of the markets our passengers usually travel to are now effectively closed off, despite many of them having much lower infection rates than the UK".

    The announcement "is a further blow to the already struggling aviation sector", said the group, which owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports.

    It is "vital" for the government to establish a testing regime "which would allow for a safe reduction in quarantine periods for passengers arriving from abroad", it added.

  14. Why are there so many outbreaks in meat processing plants?

    Chicken plant

    This week 170 workers at a pork meat processing plant in Cornwall tested positive for Covid-19. Most of those who tested positive were unaware they had Covid-19 and were not displaying symptoms.

    This is just the latest in a long line of meat processing plants across the world that have experienced outbreaks, including in Germany, France, Spain and the US.

    So what makes them so vulnerable?

    "Factories and, in particular, indoor areas which are cold and damp, are perfect environments for coronavirus to linger and spread," according to Lawrence Young, Professor of Molecular Oncology at the University of Warwick.

    Read more about how Covid spreads in meat processing plants here.

  15. BreakingSNP MP 'very sorry' for travelling on train with Covid

    SNP MP Margaret Ferrier has apologised for breaching Covid rules by travelling to and from London while she had coronavirus symptoms.

    Ferrier says her symptoms were "mild", and that by the time she took the train to London to attend Parliament she was "feeling much better". She later tested positive for the virus.

    She says she's notified the police.

    "Despite feeling well, I should have self-isolated while waiting for my test result, and I deeply regret my actions," she says.

    She tweeted her full statement, below.

    View more on twitter

    But Labour's Ian Murray, the shadow secretary of state for Scotland, tweeted: "It can't be one rule for Margaret Ferrier, and one rule for everyone else. "Nicola Sturgeon must condemn her MP's actions and tell the Scottish people what disciplinary action she will be taking."

  16. Pubs and other indoor venues can re-open in Bolton

    We've been hearing today about further restrictions being brought in for parts of north-east and north-west England.

    A bit more information has come through, confirming the measures are being made law in the Liverpool City Region, Halton, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.

    It means people living there won't be able to mix with those outside their own household, in any indoor setting.

    Meanwhile, stricter measures in Bolton are being eased, so it will be in line with the rest of Greater Manchester. The move follows pleas from local leaders to allow hospitality venues to open under the same conditions as the rest of the region - like having table service, and closing at 10pm.

    It also means bowling alleys, indoor skating rinks, casinos, indoor play, including soft play and conference centres and exhibit halls will also be able to reopen in Bolton.

    And rules on weddings, wedding receptions and funerals will be the same as the rest of the country.

    All the latest - including the areas now on the government's watchlist - can be found here. As part of that, Sheffield has been moved from an "area of concern" to an "area of enhanced support", which means more resources - which could mean more testing - for the city.

  17. Why Dutch PM made awkward U-turn on masks

    Anna Holligan

    BBC News Hague correspondent

    Mark Rutte

    "Shambolic" is how one journalist in The Hague described the Dutch position on masks.

    Faced with one of the most rapidly spreading infection rates in Europe, last night Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, under pressure from parliament and the public, issued "urgent and immediate advice" for people to wear face masks in indoor spaces.

    It's been an awkward but unavoidable U-turn for Mr Rutte, who initially stood out as one of the world's most mask-sceptic leaders.

    While neighbouring countries locked down and brought in wide-reaching restrictions and compulsory mask-wearing in public places, Mr Rutte said he was "not a dictator" and congratulated the Dutch for being capable of following social distancing rules without being "treated like children".

    Six months since the start of the pandemic, the Dutch are breaking their own records for the daily number of new cases, while neighbouring nations are easing their rules.

    From what I witnessed in The Hague today, there are still more people exercising their right not to mask up than taking responsibility to do what the widely accepted science suggests could help to protect themselves and others.

  18. 'Let students study online now'

    A woman walking past one-way signs

    Students should be allowed to leave university and study online if they want to, according to unions representing academics and students.

    The National Union of Students (NUS) and the University and College Union are calling for the government to take urgent action.

    It comes after university campuses have been hit by outbreaks of the virus, with many students in self isolation.

    Larissa Kennedy, NUS president, said students had been left "trapped in halls" and were struggling to access food and wellbeing resources.

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said students will be allowed to be with their families at Christmas if they choose to.

    But the education unions are calling for a move to online learning wherever possible - and they say students should be given a safe way to leave campus now if they want to.

    Students should not face any financial detriment for giving up accommodation, or choosing to defer or leave university, they say.

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on the government to provide a "support package" to those university students currently self-isolating.

    He said: "There should have been serious consideration to delay going back. There certainly should have been some thought as to testing."

    Read more here.

  19. Shapps: 'You MUST self-isolate if you enter UK from non-exempt country'

    Krakow Old Town
    Image caption: Krakow Old Town in Poland

    Grant Shapps, announcing the new quarantine rules, also took the opportunity to remind people of the rules.

    "You MUST self-isolate if you enter the UK from a non-exempt country - from tomorrow, we’re increasing the penalties for people who refuse to do so to a maximum of £10,000 for repeat offenders," he wrote on Twitter.

    Those fines apply to England, rather than the whole of the UK.

    He added a message saying: "REMINDER: If you do travel, you must complete a Passenger Locator Form before returning to the UK. Do your bit to help keep everyone safe."

    Mr Shapps added that data from Poland showed that positive tests had nearly doubled - increasing from 3.9% to 5.8% - and there had been "a rapid increase in weekly cases" there.

    Read all the latest on the new rules here.

  20. Maximum fine for quarantine breach to rise to £10,000

    Tom Burridge

    Transport correspondent

    The maximum fine for repeatedly breaching the travel quarantine in England is set to rise from £3,200 to £10,000. The fine for a single offence will remain at £1,000.However in the case of someone committing a second offence it would rise to £2,000, or £4,000 for a third offence.For a fourth or subsequent offence, the fine would be £10,000.